As the national capital and adjoining areas reel under severe smog for the past one week, doctors have advised people to eat a healthy diet that can help reduce some adverse effects of toxic pollutants.
According to doctors, harmful particulate matter and other pollutants in the air can penetrate and inflame the linings of bronchial tubes and lungs, resulting in respiratory illnesses such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart ailments, lung cancer, asthma, etc.
An advisory from Fortis Healthcare stated that the smog that has enveloped the region can cause or aggravate allergies and reduce pulmonary system (lungs) immunity.
Senior consultant (critical care, pulmonary and sleep disorders) of Apollo Hospitals Rajesh Chawla said: “People should consume fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to combat the ill effects of Delhi’s smog. They are anti-oxidants which help the body in combating free radicals that are produced in the body due to presence of toxins in the smog.”
Dr Chawla recommended avoiding junk food as it caused extra stress on human body. He reiterated consuming fruits and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants help immune system fight pollutants. Some food items that should be included in diet under present environmental conditions, he advised were broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, olive oil and green tea.
Dr Chawla also suggested some home remedies to deal with the respiratory issues. He said smog could cause throat irritation and even facilitate the spread of viral infections.
“Try to take steam with a few drops of eucalyptus oil every day in the evening to relax air-passages and help body remove the harmful particulate substances,” advised Dr Chawla, adding that consuming neem, tulsi and turmeric could also help body combat the harmful effects of smog.
The doctor also advised staying indoors and avoiding walks, particularly in morning and evening when concentration of pollutants was relatively higher than other times of the day.
Dr Chawla recommended people to keep at least one inhaler, as advised by doctor, at home because smog could cause sudden asthmatic attacks or difficulty in breathing even in people who did not have history of respiratory disorders.